Special Report - Unlocking Knowledge and Wisdom in the Enterprise - Page 3

Oct 26, 2010

Daniel Burrus

The fact is that each person has a wealth of wisdom inside. However, most people don’t keep track of it, much less write it down. Here’s a great way to start tracking some of the wisdom you share every day: When you’re speaking with someone, every now and then you will say a guiding principle. When it happens you know it, and you probably wish you could stop and write it down. But if you’re like most people, you don’t want to interrupt the conversation, so you keep talking, thinking you’ll remember that great quote you said later. However, the powerful sentence goes into a part of your brain that’s short-term memory, and unless you write it down immediately, you’ll forget it.

Next time when you’re talking and you say one of your powerful guiding principles, stop and repeat it. By doing so, you’re shifting the words into a different part of your brain that gives you more time to write it down later. By saying it a second time, you’ve given yourself five to seven hours to write it down before it’s gone. As a side benefit, the listener gets to hear the wisdom again, which helps make it stick in his or her mind too.

Again, everyone is loaded with wisdom. You simply have to pull it from people so everyone can learn and benefit from each other’s experiences.

Time Well Spent - At this point you may be thinking, “This all sounds great, but I’m busy. And everyone in our organization, from the CEO to the entry level employees, is so busy that I don’t see how we’ll have time for this.”

Yes, you are a busy CIO. And all the people who report to you are busy, as is the CEO and everyone else down the line. But answer this: During the five years before Lehman Brothers disappeared (which surprised many people), were all the executives, the CIO, and employees very busy? Yes. But it didn’t help them much, did it? During the five years before General Motors went bankrupt, were all the executives, the CIO, and employees very busy? Yes. But it didn’t help them much either, did it?

Being busy is not going to help you at all. What is going to help you is taking the time to leverage technology so you can create business and competitive advantage. And that’s exactly what creating a knowledge- and wisdom-sharing network does. This is about taking your most valuable resource -- the knowledge, talent, and wisdom of the people in your organization -- and leveraging those capabilities in order to bring the organization to higher profitability and accelerated growth.

Additionally, the time people in your organization spend answering the two questions per month will save them even more time, making it time well spent. In fact, it’s so crucial that I even suggest you reward the behavior to ensure everyone takes the time to answer the questions. Here’s an extreme example of how to get everyone’s involvement: Tie the completion of the activity to the person’s paycheck. In other words, if they don’t take the time to answer the two questions each month, they don’t get paid. Do you think that would get people motivated to answer two small questions each month? You bet it would. And by doing something that extreme, you’re showing everyone that you think that knowledge and wisdom sharing is that important.

By sharing knowledge and wisdom, everyone in your organization can get smarter faster. As a result, those in your company will generate more and better ideas, develop more meaningful relationships with each other and with customers, and ignite the spark for true innovation and long-term profits.

Daniel Burrus is considered one of the world’s leading technology forecasters and business strategists, and is the founder and CEO of Burrus Research, a research and consulting firm that monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients better understand how technological, social and business forces are converging to create enormous, untapped opportunities. He is the author of six books, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal best seller Flash Foresight: How To See the Invisible and Do the Impossible as well as the highly acclaimed Technotrends.

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